recipe

I’m Really Bad at Coming Up With Names for Workouts…

How do you fellow bloggers always seem to come up with a cute name for the new workout you are sharing? I am the worst at this! If you look at my Workouts page you will see that I don’t have many creative names for the workouts I have made up. Maybe I will get better at this, or maybe my workouts will just have boring, corny names. Most likely it will be the latter. 🙂

I did some strength training as part of my marathon training yesterday and made up a new workout I wanted to share. Because it’s a strength workout and  you are working your muscles, I gave this workout the clever name, “Work All of Those Muscles.” I know, I know, I don’t know how I am so creative. 😉

real work all of those muscles

I did 15 reps of all of the exercises except for the lunge pulses into a bicep curl and the wall sit, and you can read in the picture what I did for those. (Note: for the lunge pulses into bicep curl, I did 20 total, 10 each leg). I went through this for a total of three times, and could feel the burn! Make sure you use weight that is challenging enough for you!

Here are a few links to some moves that you might not be so familiar with.

3 Lunge pulses into bicep curl

Push-ups on medicine ball

Hamstring curls on ball

And before I go get ready for bed I want to share a picture of my dinner because it was sooooo delicious! And yes, all of those o’s were necessary in “so” because it was that good.

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Now that I am posting this picture, I see that this actually isn’t a very good picture and it doesn’t look that appetizing. Please trust me though; this was delicious. Ryan put it under the “phenomenal” category! This was taco chili with nacho cheese sauce from Angela at Oh She Glows. This is also where I got the recipe for the amazing whole wheat pizza crust we made on Sunday. None of her recipes have disappointed us yet! If you have never checked out her blog or recipes, you should!

I ate my chili on a bed of spinach, which you can see from the picture above, so that I could get in some extra veggies, but this chili is perfectly fine by itself. Ryan ate it in a bowl with some shredded cheese on top and some tortilla chips. I also think it would be amazing on a bed of quinoa. So many options!

Lastly, I also made some homemade almond butter for the first time last night in our food processor.

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Oh my gosh, I’m so happy I decided to do this! It was so easy and absolutely scrumptious! All I did was put one cup of almonds in the food processor and put it on high for a few minutes. Anyone can do that! I will probably use more almonds next time so that it will make more almond butter! This is a much more affordable option since almond butter can be a little pricey.

Now, off to bed!

Questions:

1. What is a good strength workout I should try?

2. Tell me something good about your life right now. 🙂

3. Have you ever made any type of homemade nut butter? I really want to make more now! I am thinking cashew butter next!

Shoulder and Arm Burner AND a Quesadilla Recipe!

Glad to be back posting today! I worked hard to publish a post yesterday, but wordpress was being extremely slow, which made it impossible for me to publish the post that I wanted to. I was going to share about our wedding reception, so now I just have most of that post published for next week. 🙂 I couldn’t share that post today because I was too ready to share a new recipe and workout with y’all before the weekend! 🙂

First things first, food!

I am big on meal planning, and every weekend I plan out the meals for the next week so that I know what to cook and so I make sure I have the ingredients I need on hand. Wednesday night I was planning on following this recipe for black bean quesadillas, but as I started getting ready to cook, I decided I would much rather do my own thing and make up my own recipe. 🙂 Risky, I know, but I felt like if I made a few tweaks and added some personal touches the Hubs and I would like it better. However, since I pretty much like every food that is edible, I wasn’t worried if I would like it, but I had to please the man in my life.

I took one bite and thought it was absolutely delicious, but I anxiously waited for my husband to start eating his so I could hear his opinion. When he said, “it’s really good!”, I knew this recipe was a winner. 🙂 So of course, I wanted to share it with all of you.

Black Bean Veggie Quesadillas

This meal was extremely easy, which automatically makes it one of my favorite weeknight foods to cook.

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (personal choice here, whatever you like. The picture above is a low carb whole wheat tortilla, but I also made one with a corn tortilla. Both were delicious.)
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped bell pepper (whatever color is fine)
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Roasted red pepper hummus
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • Spinach
  • Taco seasoning
  • Avocado, salsa, or whatever you like for topping.

Steps:

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan on medium heat and sauté onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms. I didn’t say exactly how many onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms to chop up because it really just depends how much you want to stuff your quesadillas with. I can’t even remember how much I used of everything. I also think you could experiment and try a lot of different veggies for this recipe, or take out whatever veggies you don’t like. I plan on trying some different ones next time!

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2. While vegetables are cooking, heat up black beans in a separate pot on the stove.

3. When vegetables are done transfer to a plate, and when beans are fully cooked remove them from heat.

4. Make this “cheese sauce” from  Ashlee using two tablespoons of hummus and one tablespoon of almond milk, and then spread some of it on one tortilla.

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5. Spray the pan where you cooked the vegetables with more cooking spray, and place the tortilla, hummus side up, on the pan over medium heat.

6. Load up the tortilla with beans and the veggie mix. I also put spinach in mine, and I loved it! You could sauté the spinach with the rest of the vegetables earlier if you would rather. After you load up the tortilla, sprinkle some taco seasoning on top. I didn’t measure how much I sprinkled, just use however much you like. (Preferably homemade seasoning so you don’t have any of the nasty, added ingredients, but if you use a package that’s okay too. I will admit sometimes I even have to do that for lack of time/ingredients. Luckily, I had homemade taco seasoning for this recipe.)

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7. Take another tortilla and spread more of the hummus mixture on one side, and then place the tortilla on top of the  other tortilla that is now loaded with toppings, with the hummus side down.

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8. After 2-3 minutes, flip the quesadilla so that the other side can cook.

9. After the other side cooks, remove the quesadilla from heat, and begin to use the rest of the ingredients to make however many  more quesadillas you can make! I was able to make one more quesadilla this size, and then one more smaller quesadilla using corn tortillas.

10. Top the finished quesadillas with whatever you want! We topped ours with avocado and salsa!

Black Bean Veggie Quesadillas

I took a picture before I put salsa on top though. And of course I enjoyed some more veggies on the side. 🙂

Sidenote: If you didn’t want to make the “cheese sauce” with the hummus and almond milk, I think it would taste just as good by spreading the hummus without making the “sauce”. Also, for you meat lovers, you could easily add chicken or whatever other meat you like to this quesadilla. And if you just want meat and no beans, do that! That’s one of the things I love about this recipe; you can constantly change things and make it different! Oh, and if you want real cheese, you can also sprinkle some real cheese inside your quesadilla. I did this for Ryan. 🙂

This recipe was so good, and so easy! If you make it, please let me know what you think!

Now, because it’s Friday and I’m happy, I am also going to share a workout with y’all! I did this yesterday and really enjoyed it!

Big shoulder and ab toner

I know my picture looks very “springy”, and we are smack dab in the middle of winter, but that is exactly why I made my picture look this way. I know I live in Texas and the weather I experience is nothing compared to what some of you are having, but I am sick of this cold weather, and I am so ready for spring! So making this bright colored, flower filled picture made me happy. 🙂 I hope it makes you happy too. 🙂 Oh, and if you do this workout, your shoulder and core muscles will be happy too. 😉

I did this exercise yesterday for a total of three times, and as I have mentioned before, I want to make sure I keep doing strength exercises while I am training for my marathon. I am not overdoing it, but I am doing enough to keep me strong. I have grown to love strength training, and I don’t want to give it up. Besides, I know it makes me a better runner.

In case you don’t know what a plank punch is, you can watch this short video here to see it. I used weight though, so I held a barbell each time I punched the air in front of me.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you get a chance to make my black veggie quesadillas or try my shoulder and ab toner, let me know your thoughts!

This weekend I have a wedding shower for a friend from high school that I am going to with my Mom, and tomorrow night we are celebrating my grandpa’s 80th birthday with my family. Should be a fun weekend!

Questions:

1. What are your plans this weekend?

2. What is your weather like? Are you sick of the cold or do you enjoy it?

3. Do you ever plan to follow a recipe but then do your own thing? 

4. I will be meal planning for next week soon, any meal ideas for me? 

Two Christmas Recipes!

Before I get started with the fun, delicious things, I want to thank all of you for your sweet and supportive comments on yesterday’s post. Y’all were all so encouraging, and I guess more people struggle with that problem other than me. Seriously, y’all’s comments make me so happy!

Anyways, on to the good stuff. Last week I went on a baking marathon and asked if any of you would be interested in knowing any of the recipes for the treats that I cooked. Well I  had some requests for two different recipes, so I thought I would put them both in this one post! Now, let me warn you, neither of these are healthy, but like I have said before, the holidays only happen once a year so I thoroughly believe you should enjoy some of the treats you don’t have all year. Of course enjoying all of them in moderation, while still eating your fruits and veggies. 🙂 Also, both of these recipes are super easy! So if you are all for easy recipes that don’t require many ingredients (like me), these are two holiday treats for you! Plus, they are always a hit whenever I make them!

White Chocolate Popcorn and Pretzel Mix

My second mom, Shelly, was the first person to share this recipe with me, and I am pretty sure I have made it every Christmas since. If you get a cute container it also makes great gifts for people!

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Ingredients:

  • Natural popcorn (no butter added)
  • White Almond bark (or colored almond bark, you can find it at stores like Hobby Lobby. You could make your popcorn red or green if you are feeling real festive!
  • Pretzels
  • Christmas colored M&M’s. (so you could use the regular colored M&M’s, but that is not nearly as fun or festive, so I highly recommend the red and green ones. 🙂 )
  • Christmas colored sprinkles
  • Wax paper or foil

So here are the super hard easy instructions:

  1. Lay out some wax paper or foil
  2. Microwave the bag of popcorn and pour it in a bowl once it is done cooking.
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This is the brand I used.

  1. Pour some of the M&M’s in the bowl with the popcorn. (I poured a little less than half of my bag for one bag of popcorn, but you can use as many or as little as you want.)

IMG_4719I’m telling you, get the Christmas M&M’s. It makes the popcorn taste better. Well, at least look more festive 😉

2.  Microwave 3-4 blocks of almond bark, stirring every 30 seconds until it is completely melted.  (I like to use three so that it is a good mix of sweet and salty, but if you want it real sweet use four blocks.)

IMG_48993.Pour the melted almond bark over the popcorn and M&M’s and mix well with your hands.

4. Once all of the popcorn and candy is covered pour it on the wax paper or foil so that the almond bark can    harden. (I used foil because I didn’t have wax paper)

IMG_47215. Now pour some pretzels in a bowl. (When I made it half a bag of pretzels was enough for two popped bags of popcorn).

6. Microwave 3 blocks of almond bark, stirring every 30 seconds until the almond bark is completely melted.

7. Pour the melted almond bark over the pretzels and stir well until all of the pretzels are covered.

8. Sprinkle whatever Christmas sprinkles you have onto the pretzels.

9. Pour the pretzels onto more of the wax paper or foil so that the almond bark will harden.

IMG_472210. Let the pretzels and popcorn sit until the almond bark is hard, and you can pick it up without your hands becoming a mess. (I usually cook it and then go do something else I need to do and come back and check it later.)

11. Once everything is dry combine the popcorn and M&M’s with the pretzels, and voila! You are done!

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Next, I highly recommend you put it up somewhere after you finish, otherwise you will eat way more than you should in one sitting. Just a lesson learned from experience. 😉 You can get some super cute mason jars or containers and fill them up with this popcorn as great gifts! People will love it! Plus, it’s super affordable so your bank account will appreciate it too. 😉

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When we had our two couple friends over last week for dinner, we gave them these two cute jars filled with the popcorn mixed, and I think they liked it! I got these jars at Walmart, and they already came with the cute ribbon on it, which was great because then I didn’t have to buy ribbon and try to make a cute bow. (which let’s be honest, the bow would have turned out horrible and I would have had to take it off and given them a plain jar. I wish I was better at crafty things!) Also, you can’t tell in the picture but one jar has a snowman on it, and the other has a snowflake on it. I was so excited about these jars! (In case you can’t tell.)

The final recipe I want to share is..

Sausage Balls!

There are different recipes out there you can find, but I will share with you how I made mine, which is exactly how my Mom makes hers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean. If you want it to be spicy you could use spicy sausage, but I always use original.)
  • 3 cups of Bisquick
  • 2 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese

This Recipe is almost too easy!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Put all three ingredients in one big bowl and mix everything together with your hands.
  3. Make the sausage mixture into little balls and put them on a cookie sheet. (I cover my cookie sheet with foil to make clean-up easier, and then I spray the cookie sheet with non-stick spray.)
  4. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes and turn over halfway through.
  5. Once they are done, let them cool and enjoy! Or even better, give them to other people to enjoy! I love doing this with treats at Christmas time! 🙂
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I don’t know how, but I completely forgot to take pictures while baking these! So this is the only picture I have. I will try to remember to take pictures next time I make the sausage balls, and then I will update this recipe. 🙂

But this is seriously so easy, and if you make this for a party, I can almost guarantee they will all be gone at the end.

Questions:

1. Do you love to bake treats for other people at Christmas time?

2. Are you crafty? If so, will you come teach me how to do cute things? 🙂

3. Favorite Christmas treat? I love chips and dips at parties, and Christmas always makes me want a big breakfast since that is what my family does every year. 🙂 Now I want cinnamon rolls. 🙂

4. Tell me something fun you are doing today!

12 Dates of Christmas and Snickerdoodle Blondie Bars Recipe

We are getting so close to Christmas!! I absolutely love this time of year! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and this year is very special because it is me and Ryan’s first Christmas as a married couple. We both love traditions, so we decided to start a tradition to have a 12 dates of Christmas every year that will lead up to Christmas! We are starting this today though because we want it to end on December 23rd. We are ending it two days before Christmas because on Christmas Eve we are going over to my parents’ house and will be with them through Christmas day. We wanted these 12 dates to be something we could just do together, so we are ending a little early.

I am so excited about this new tradition, and I had a lot of fun planning the 12 dates and what we could do. I thought I would share with y’all what all we will do these days.

12 Dates of Christmas 2013

  1. December 12- Have friends over for dinner at our house
  2. December 13-Breakfast in Bed
  3. December 14-Spa night. We can both choose either a back massage or foot massage for the other one to give us.
  4. December 15-Write each other a hand written noten
  5. December 16-Game night at home
  6. December 17-We give each other a small surprise, this can be handmade or store bought. But if we buy something it has to be less than $3.
  7. December 18-Bake a dessert together
  8. December 19-Candlelit dinner at home
  9. December 20-Watch a Christmas movie
  10. December 21-Go to the movies (It seems like there are always good movies in the theater at Christmas time!)
  11. December 22-Drive around and see Christmas lights
  12. December 23-Have homemade pizza, exchange the gifts we got each other, and read the real Christmas story.

I know it may seem weird that we are opening our gifts we got each other two days before Christmas, but we really enjoy having our own little Christmas celebration just us two, and we will be with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we just start celebrating early. I like this though because the longer the Christmas celebrations the better! 🙂 I am so excited to start this tradition today! I will let y’all know how we like it.

So you might have noticed that we are having some friends over for dinner tonight. I am so excited to have two of our good couple friends over that we haven’t seen in a long time. We actually are all pretty recently married, so that’s fun! Ryan also had a snack party at work today and everyone is supposed to bring their favorite holiday snacks or desserts, so if you follow me on Instagram and saw all of the baking I was doing yesterday, these are the reasons why. 🙂 I loved doing all of the baking, and I was so glad I was off so that I had all day to really enjoy it. Obviously I listened to Michael Buble holiday station on Pandora all day while I baked. I highly suggest you all go to Pandora right now and add this station. It is fabulous, and you won’t be disappointed with the wonderful Christmas music it plays.

Here is some of what I baked:

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White chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels with Christmas colored M&M’s. Below is some long pretzel sticks that I dipped half in almond bark and then sprinkled with Christmas sprinkles!

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Sausage balls.

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Ryan loves sausage balls, and they are really simple to make. You only need three ingredients!

Homemade sugar cookies.

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I totally forgot to take a picture of these while I was baking and then when they were on the cookie sheet, so I took a picture of some of them already put away. They looked much cuter, I promise. 🙂 I had some Christmas stockings, snowflakes, a Christmas tree, and a snowman cookie cutter that I used. This is a simple, easy recipe that I have used for years, but these cookies are always a hit with everyone! This was my first time to use cookie cutters though, I usually just make plain round cookies, and the cooking time was obviously different because these cookies were a little bit harder than usual, so I was disappointed. 😦

Lastly, my favorite treat of the night was these snickerdoodle blondie bars.

Snickerdoodle Blondie Bars

These bars are super sweet and really good! I think they are just perfect for Christmas time! I found this recipe on an app that my Aunt Nancy told me about called Recipe Box, and with this app you can share your recipes with people you know. My aunt and her sisters have a bunch of recipes they have shared, so Nancy shared all of those recipes with me! The app is really cool; you can just send all of the recipes from one phone to another through Wifi. Lucky for all of you, I am going to share this amazing recipe with y’all. 🙂

I do not take credit for creating this recipe, but I don’t know where it originally came from. If you know who created it, please let me know so that I can give them credit! 🙂

Snickerdoodle Blondie Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookie batter-ish)
  5. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed.
  7. Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

My bars came out and looked like this:

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I started to cut them into bars and then remembered to snap a picture, so that’s why part of the cake is already cut. 😉 I think these would be really good warmed up with some ice cream! I plan on trying this tonight, so I can let you know. 🙂

Obviously, nothing that I baked is healthy, but it is the Christmas season, and I love baking treats and desserts for other people! I am a huge advocate of moderation, and I did not go crazy eating all of these desserts yesterday. (I’m really not a sweets person anyway) I really did make these for other people and parties, so just remember this Christmas season to not go over board with all of the yummies and goodies, but it’s okay to enjoy it. Plus, I can’t imagine trying to “healthify” any of these recipes. Sometimes you just need the real thing! Which obviously means, sugar and butter. 🙂

But I have a bunch to do today to get ready for our friends coming over, so I better go!

Questions:

1. What are some of your Christmas traditions?

2. Favorite thing to bake this time of year?

3. Would you like me to share any of the recipes for the other things I baked yesterday?

Sweet Potato Protein Packed Pizza

After a more serious post yesterday, let’s have a more fun,yummy post today, shall we? 🙂

We love homemade pizza in our house!! Pizza is always good, but I love when we make it homemade because I know what ingredients are going into my body, and you don’t have to deal with all of the nasty grease. For Ryan and I, homemade pizza makes for a perfect at home date night. This particular has been a pizza several times now, so I thought I would share the deliciousness. 🙂

I make the sweet potato crust with this recipe from Tina. I have actually never made the recipe with almond flour because it is a little pricey, and I haven’t brought myself to pay the money to buy it yet. So instead I have been using whole wheat flour, but I definitely want to get some almond flour to make it gluten free.

After the crust is done, I use half a jar of pizza sauce and spread it out over the crust. Then I put however much mozzarella cheese we want on top of the sauce. (Sorry, I don’t have an exact measurement, but this is a personal choice, use however much cheese you would like.)

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Next, add on the meat! To make it protein packed, we used 1 pound of ground turkey and then about 1/2 cup of shredded chicken. Next, add on some chopped pineapple. (The sweet potato makes a sweeter crust, so we decided that the pineapple really makes this pizza taste even better!)

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Finally, if you want a REALLY TASTY PIZZA, add on some veggies! I added chopped tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and sliced mushrooms. The pizza above only has veggies on half of it because Ryan hasn’t yet learned that veggies make pizzas oh so much better. Then if you want put some more shredded cheese on top. 🙂

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Lastly, let it bake for about 7-9 more minutes in the oven, and you are done! Totally protein packed and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato crust recipe here
  • 1/2 jar of pizza sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (however much you would like, I would suggest 1-2 cups)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • approximately 1/2 cup of shredded chicken
  • fresh chopped pineapple (however much you would like for your pizza)
  • whatever veggies you want to put on top!
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

1. First preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and use this recipe for the crust.

2. While the crust is cooking ground your turkey meat in a skillet and drain off any excess fat. Season with salt and pepper.

3. When crust is done spread the pizza sauce over the crust and add cheese.

4. Top with meat (ground turkey and chicken) and spread out evenly over the pizza.

5. Add chopped pineapple over the whole pizza.

6. Add whatever veggies you would like and more cheese if you want.

7. Bake for approximately 7-9 minutes in the oven.

8. Take out, let cool, and then eat and enjoy!

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I had one piece with a spinach salad, and it hit the spot! Pizza and salad=a great meal!

Since this pizza is packed with so much protein, it seriously fills you up! I had this one piece and went back for maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of another piece and I was stuffed! The first time I made this pizza I ate two pieces since I can normally eat two pieces of pizza pretty easily. But after I ate it I was uncomfortably full. Just a little heads up. 🙂 Oh, and it is great for leftovers, so you will want some the next day.

Questions:

1. Do you ever make your own pizza crust? Any good pizza crust recipes I should try?

2. Veggies on your pizza, yes or no?

3. Favorite topping for your pizza?

4. Tell me something about your day yesterday, or something you are looking forward to today.